Discover more from A Book For Ants: Bite-Sized Reviews of Snack-Sized Books
TERRACE STORY by Hilary Leichter
Sometimes a writer just hits on the zeitgeist so effortlessly that you can’t help but feel they’re the medium through which we’re meant to experience it. In her debut, Temporary, Hilaray Leichter nailed the contemporary incarnation of employment; its uncertainty, its mundaneness, its transience. With Terrace Story, it’s all about space. Or, rather, the contemporary lack of it. A novel in four stories, it opens with a seemingly conventional portrait of a young couple who move into a cramped apartment. They love, they bicker, they try to make it their own. Then they invite their friend, Stephanie, over. And when she arrives, a beautiful terrace suddenly appears. Life, in turn, expands.
The other three stories shift the focus to others mentioned in the first. Two of them are good enough, but it’s the Stephanie story that really shines. We learn how she got her powers and how she learnt to use them. And the anxiety it causes. Do people only like her for her powers? Mark L. Danielewski played the same game with space for his incredible (and incredibly long) horror novel, House of Leaves. Leichter makes it compact and beautiful and relatable. And, perhaps, all the more horrifying.
Terrace Story by Hilary Leichter